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Hip-Hop: Now With More Beef!

Despite desperate attempts to keep their great big, juicy secret under wraps, vegans all up and down California are mortified now that the word is out: Vegans Want Beef. "They want it, and they want it bad," says Dr. Seymore Bloodslab, a self-proclaimed authority on nutrition and beef cravings. His latest book, Everyone Wants My Hot, Beefy Sausage, has been lambasted by critics for its pseudoscientific methods, the shameless self-promotion of his sausage company, and its leering, chauvinistic tone. Plus, sausage is made from pork, for chrissakes.

Nevertheless, a hip-hop tour with kindred sensibilities called Vegans Want Beef, featuring the L.A.-based underground crew Gershwin BLX (Bassline Xcursionists), is gathering momentum on its way to Santa Cruz, heading straight for 120 Union Street on Feb. 8 ($8; all ages; 8pm). Their albums Sunch Punch and Vegans Want Beef are loaded with beefy side-cut beats and shameless battle MCs spitting some funny-ass shit. Blak Forest, Dirty Circus, Pushing Destinations, Disflex.6 and local crews Duce Company and The Moonies will round out the meat-eating bill, with Sleazy-E will hosting an MC battle ... but what's all this about beef?

"MCs, producers and DJs gotta have some straight beef up in there music," explains DNA of the Pushing Destinations crew. "Not beef like hateful shit, but like fat and meaty-ass raps, raw beats and technical scratches, full of all that good shit that a lot of hip-hop is lacking."

In other news, a major sarong manufacturer is making moves to compete with the "fat and meaty-ass raps" with their exciting new line of "Wraps for the Fat and Meaty Ass." Aw yeah!

The Devil Drinks Whiskey

Despite the seemingly irreparable damage that New Country stars like Garth Brooks and Faith Hill did to the entire country genre, there is still plenty of hope for country music. An upcoming show will keep hope alive on Sunday, Feb. 9 (see music calendar) with alt-country rockers Drag the River (featuring ex-Descendant and All member Chad Price, as well as ex-Armchair Martian Jon Snodgrass), Gold, Guns and Guitars (featuring members of the Lonely Kings rockin' out country style), The Griswold Trucking Project, the Chop Tops and The Devil Makes Three. Despite their wide range of country-based styles, all the bands seem to have at least one thing in common: an unabiding love for singing about whiskey--especially TDMT. With the disappointing cancellation of the Steve Earle show at the Catalyst a couple weeks ago (he was sick and his voice was hoarse--too much whiskey drinkin'? Perhaps ...), the band paid tribute to their idol with a couple Earle covers and some older one to boot at a Mediterranean show last week. They played a rollicking version of Mississipi John Hurt's "Nobody's Dirty Business" and covered the Irene Scruggs (via Steve Earle) sing-along favorite, "Home Town Blues," along with a bunch of pathos-laden originals.

Farewell to the Hips

Their show last week was lots of fun--and rare, I'm told: like the equivalent of seeing the Grateful Dead play St. Stephen, they played a bunch of songs that apparently they never play live. And so the ending was bittersweet. But buck up, hippies, because you know the Mother Hips will be back to milk the reunion factor. But hopefully when they return, they'll have the REAL Jack Black playing bass, instead of just some phony look-alike.

More Upcoming

Roots reggae outfit Groundation will perform a tribute to Bob Marley at the Catalyst on Thursday, Feb. 6. Local bluegrass gems Strungover! will play on Friday, Feb. 7, at 120 Union at 8pm with Jackstraw from Portland. The Previously Lost Dogs will host a CD release party on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Henfling's.

Mike Connor

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From the February 5-11, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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